Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Environmental stress examined

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Environmental stress examined

Three Massey University staff will present their research on how humans (and godwits) cope with extreme environmental conditions over the next two weeks.

The talks on environmental ergonomics – the study of how people react to environmental extremes such as heat, cold pressure and altitude – are being held in Dunedin and Queenstown.

School of Sport and Exercise senior lecturer Dr Toby Mündel is currently studying how heat affects people when they exercise. He has been invited to give a presentation on this at the Moving in Extreme Environments symposium in Dunedin next week. The symposium brings together world-leading researchers from the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Israel, Sweden, France, Denmark and the United States but will have a distinctly New Zealand theme.

He has been assessing the performance of runners at the Manawatu Striders Sevens Series run and walk during the recent hot weather and comparing the data with that collected during ‘normal’ conditions.

He says while Palmerston North might seem an odd choice as a place to study heat stress, it is in fact the perfect spot.

“In the southern hemisphere, and particularly New Zealand, the sun is a lot stronger because we are actually closer to the sun during our summer than those in the northern hemisphere are during theirs,” he says. “The thinner ozone layer here also makes our sun stronger, meaning a temperature of 25 degrees celsius here can often feel like 35 degrees celsius does at the equivalent latitude in the northern hemisphere.”

Dr Mündel says people exercising tend to just slow down when they are hot, that way their performance suffers but they keep safe from heat illness such as heat exhaustion and the more serious heat stroke. These results will be the first to document whether heat illness occurs in our active population and to what extent. Perhaps more importantly, it moves research away from the laboratory and into a real-world setting.

Another School of Sport and Exercise researcher Dr Darryl Cochrane will talk at the International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics in Queenstown. He has carried out extensive research on vibration exercise, and will discuss how it could be beneficial as a way for astronauts to keep fit in space.

His talk, Shaken Not Stirred, will look at the potential benefits of the exercise. Vibration exercise involves a large plate that is electrically driven and moves like a seesaw. Dr Cochrane has carried out research on its benefits to elite hockey players, those with compromised health, and as a recovery agent after physical performance.

Ecologist Dr Phil Battley has carried out research on godwits – sea birds that make individual flights of over 10,000km, the longest migrating flights that we know of. Dr Battley, who was awarded a Marsden Grant to further his research last year, will also speak at the conference in Queenstown to highlight how similar and different these ultra-endurance athletes are compared to humans.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news